What’s better than a cargo e-bike for hauling goods around the city with zero emissions? A cargo e-bike that can pull an electrified trailer or two behind it, capable of hauling up to 1000 pounds of payload cleanly and silently. For dense urban areas, factories, and campus-based businesses and organizations, the Pelican Train looks to be a next level option for getting a lot of stuff where it needs to go, without the noise and pollution of an internal combustion engine.
The French startup Pelican now offers a unique take on the electric cargo bike — not so much the e-bike itself as it is the modular and electrified cargo trailers that can be pulled behind it. The Pelican Platform Train’s 3-wheeled trailers have a built-in electric drive system and battery which provide propulsion to the trailer in concert with the e-bike. The Pelican cargo e-bike isn’t that different in configuration from many of the other electric cargo bikes on the market, except that it is built to be able to pull a trailer or two, and the trailer motors and brakes synchronize with it so that it accelerates and brakes at the same rate as the e-bike. According to Pelican, the combination of motors in the bike and trailer will allow a rider to go up an 18% slope with a full load — which is impressive, considering the payload capacity on the Pelican Platform Train.
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The Pelican Train can be configured in a number of different ways, including flatbed trailers that can carry up to 16 plastic cargo crates or other cargo weighing up to 200 kg (440 lb), refrigerated or insulated trailer boxes for perishable goods, and other modular options, such as maintenance or sanitation equipment. With the ability to pull not just a single trailer, but two trailers with 200 kg of cargo each, a Pelican Train could conceivably haul about 500 kg (1102 lb) of payload with just a single 250W mid-drive motor on the bike itself (plus the motors on the trailers).
According to Pelican, the system “includes parking brakes which are activated when the bike stops and which are deactivated when the pedals are pressed. Finally, a safety brake immobilizes the trailer in the event of disconnection with the bicycle.”
The Pelican Train could be a great option for package delivery and courier services, delivering groceries and other goods to customers, as a method of transportation for the trades or for maintenance workers, and for use in large factory environments or other campus-based businesses and organizations. The zero-emissions and zero pollution factor of cargo e-bikes like the Pelican means that they can safely be used indoors or out, and the ease with which a single rider can haul large amounts of cargo means that it could help avoid a lot of trips with gas-powered vehicles.
The company offers the Pelican for short- or long-term rentals (€15/day, €45/month) or purchase starting at €4500 ($4870). For more information, see the Pelican Cycles website.
Images courtesy of Pelican Cycles
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